Tears are normally produced by tear glands and drain into the nose via the tear ducts. Watery eyes are caused by eye irritation causing
excessive production of tears or a physical obstruction to the drainage of tears.
In children, watery eyes are relatively common
as the tear ducts may not be fully developed. Because the tears are unable to drain into the nose, it often causes recurrent
bacterial conjunctivitis. With time, the watery eye can resolve when the tear duct spontaneously opens up. When this fails to
clear up, the tear duct may need to be probed under general anaesthesia to unblock the tear duct.
In adults, watery eyes are
commonly caused by irritation. When the watering is fairly constant, the cause is often physical like a droopy eye lid or a
blocked tear duct. Physical causes require surgical repair to ensure the watery eye resolves.
At Mona Vale Eye Centre, we are
trained to diagnose and repair the physical cause of watery eyes. Surgery often involves returning the eyelid to a normal
position or by-passing the blocked tear duct (dacryocystorhinostomy). Depending on the surgery required, it can be performed
under local or general anaesthesia, and is often very successful.